Dr. Mark Chandler
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Mark Chandler
This project will run model simulations of middle Pliocene climate using paleoclimatic data derived from the time period. The researcher will use Pliocene age terrestrial and marine data from the Pliocene Research, Interpretation, and Synoptic Mapping (PRISM) project as input to a coupled ocean-atmosphere General Circulation Model (GCM). The rationale for the research is that the middle Pliocene was a time when the Earth experienced global temperatures that are comparable to recent projections of future climate due to increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Specifically, high latitude warming (relative to the present) and a reduced equator-to-pole temperature gradient dominated the middle Pliocene. The broader impacts of this proposed research center on addressing a critical question regarding greenhouse gases (GHG) concentrations and ocean temperatures. There is a desire on the part of the scientific community to determine if there are any oceanic 'surprises' in terms of heat transport or ocean circulation that track the increasing concentrations of GHG in the atmosphere. Using data from a period of greater warmth on Earth, in which geophysical boundary conditions are similar to the modern world, this proposed research may help identify if there are any 'surprises' in basic function of the heat carrying or circulatory properties of the ocean. When completed, the data generated by this research will be made available to the wider scientific community through publicly accessible databases.
Cross Cutting Themes:
Climate and Society
National Science Foundation